Table 2

Intervention components and behaviour change techniques (BCTs)

ComponentActivity/taskBCT (Michie et al, 2013)
CompetitionCompetition was designed to take place across three levels during Phase One (April–June 2015).
  1. School level: £1000 prize for winning school.

  2. Team level: trophy for the winning team in each school.

  3. Individual level: weekly prizes for highest steps and most improved within each school.

During Phase Two (July–September 2015), there were individual prizes for the top three participants in each school achieving the highest average number of steps across the 14-week period. This two-phased tapered approach was designed to encourage medium-long term PA behaviour change (ie, extrinsic to intrinsically motivated PA behaviour).
  • Set graded tasks.

  • Provide rewards contingent on successful behaviour.

  • Provide feedback on performance.

Material rewards/prizesMaterial rewards included coloured stickers, selfie sticks, completion certificates, cinema tickets and £10 sports vouchers. Individual prizes were awarded on a weekly basis under two categories: ‘outstanding performance’ and ‘most improved’.
  • Prompt rewards contingent on effort or progress towards behaviour.

TeamsA team-based competition was developed alongside the main school competition to encourage peer support. Ten teams were created within each school (4–5 participants per team). Team captains were selected based on baseline PA data to ensure balance between teams and peer nominations to identify those ‘most looked up to’. The highest placed team within each school at the end of Phase One was awarded with a trophy.
  • Plan social support/social change.

  • Facilitate social comparison.

  • Prompt identification as role model/position advocate.

PedometersParticipants were given a Fitbit Zip pedometer and asked to wear throughout every day of the intervention (Phases One and Two). Pedometers provided participants with feedback on daily steps and were uploaded to the study website via the Fitbit App or using a wireless dongle located at designated areas within schools.
  • Goal setting (outcome).

  • Prompt self-monitoring of behavioural outcome.

  • Provide feedback on performance.

WebsitePedometer data were uploaded to the StepSmart Challenge website and participants could review their daily/weekly scores and view the competition leader board. The website included the provision of motivational messages, weekly challenges and links to other PA resources.
  • Goal setting (outcome).

  • Prompt self-monitoring of behavioural outcome.

  • Provide feedback on performance.

WorkbookA short workbook was given to participants at the start of the intervention. This included ‘fun-facts’, tips and challenges to promote PA behaviour as well as a section for the participant to record weekly step target (individual and team).
  • Provide information on consequences of behaviour in general.

  • Goal setting (outcome).

  • Prompting generalisation of a target behaviour.

  • PA, physical activity.